Beware of ‘sipsipolitics,’ UNA tells AquinoBy Leila B. Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) on Monday warned President Aquino against what it described as “pseudo reformists” among his allies who could undermine his reform programs, as it bucked moves to paint UNA as an enemy of the President’s anticorruption agenda.
UNA secretary general Tobias Tiangco protested the statement of Liberal Party member Ben Evardone who had accused UNA of straddling two horses by claiming to support the Aquino administration while attacking its programs.
UNA’s bets are going head to head with the candidates of the LP-led coalition Team Pinoy in the May 13 elections.
Tiangco said that if UNA were straddling two horses, then Evardone must be “straddling the carousel” because he had been quick to change political affiliations with every new President.
In a press briefing, Tiangco described UNA as a “constructive opposition” that would praise the administration for its commendable acts and criticize its misguided policies.
In contrast, the UNA official said, the likes of Evardone and other “former Arroyo loyalists” could be detrimental to the President’s moves to initiate reforms since they would tell the sitting President only what he wanted to hear.
Tiangco described the practice as “sipsipolitics,” or sucking up to those in power.
“In the end, the President’s reform agenda (would) suffer because of sipsipolitics. That is the price that (would) be exacted by the LP’s decision to open (its) doors to just about anyone willing to wear yellow and flash the ‘L’ sign,” Tiangco said.
He added that “pseudo-reformists” could spell the failure of the President’s reforms because nobody would point out the administration’s weaknesses and provide suggestions to improve its programs.
The UNA official took exception to LP ads that have a line saying, “Sa daang matuwid, marami ang gustong sumali. Pero mayroon ding nagpapanggap lamang (Many want to join the straight and narrow path, but some are only pretending to be so).
UNA, he said, had never pretended to join the straight and narrow path, but instead had forged its own “beautiful road.”
“With daang maganda, our lives would be beautiful,” Tiangco said.
The UNA official also warned against attempts to sow intrigue between the President and UNA’s top man, Vice President Jejomar Binay, as there is no animosity between the two.
Meanwhile, UNA senatorial candidate Ernesto Maceda said UNA’s common candidates with Team Pinoy should be dropped from its ranks if they favored the President’s group.
Senators Francis Escudero and Loren Legarda, and Grace Poe Llamanzares are running under both UNA and the Team Pinoy.
“For me, if they speak with the LP and don’t speak with us, then I think we’ll have to, in some form or another, drop our support,” Maceda said in a press briefing.
He added that the three common candidates could opt to appear on stage at both UNA and LP events, or choose not to join either group during the campaign. A third option is to join only one party during its sorties.
The common candidates are welcome to join UNA whenever they are free, Tiangco said.